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The Global Middle East Seminar Series

The Woodrow Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program and Bilkent University’s Center for Russian Studies are launching a new virtual workshop and seminar series from 11:00am-12:30pm ET (7:00pm-8:30pm in Istanbul) every month to foster research, dialogue, and expertise on the post-war history of the Middle East.

The Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program (HAPP) and Bilkent University's Center for Russian Studies (CRS) are very happy to announce a new event series: The Global Middle East Seminar Series (GMES), featuring the world's foremost experts on modern Middle East History.

Bringing together researchers and historians of Middle East history from the United States, Turkey, and around the world, the series will provide a platform for senior scholars and emerging experts to present new research findings and debate critical questions in Middle Eastern history, review the state of archives and research conditions in various countries in the region, and explore historical lessons and insights for contemporary policy issues.

The Global Middle East Seminar Series (GMES) will advance the History and Public Policy Program and the Center for Russian Studies’ shared goal of developing a strong, collaborative network of scholars dedicated to advancing the study of Middle East history. The new seminar series is also designed to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, which has made research trips to archives and in-person gatherings for history conferences and workshops all but impossible. Over the past several months (and, likely, into the foreseeable future), historians and scholars have not had the same ability to pursue their own research agendas or to interact and engage with their peers in the field. Researching and writing about the contemporary history of the Middle East was challenging enough before COVID-19, but the pandemic has greatly amplified the challenges of studying this region.

The topics for each panel will vary, but will primarily center on the history of the Middle East beginning with WWII and into today. Subjects for the first several panels include Turkey’s international diplomacy during WWII; Iran and Egypt’s nuclear history; the captured Iraqi archives recently returned to Baghdad; chemical weapons usage in the Yemeni Civil War and the Iran-Iraq War, and more.

The virtual presentations will take place via Zoom and will be recorded and published online through the Wilson Center’s website. HAPP and CRS will also plan to host additional special events and private workshops to complement the public event series.

GMES Panels

Spring 2022

February 17: Annie Tracy Samuel (with Eric Lob)

Documenting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

March 17: John J. Mearsheimer (with Mahsa Rouhi and Tytti Erästö)

Will Iran Build the Bomb?

April 21: Lisel Hintz (with Jenny White)

Fight Scenes: Popular Culture as Battleground for Turkey's Identity Struggles

May 19: Juan Romero

Pan-Arabism: A path to unity or division?

Fall 2021

September 21: Malcolm Byrne and Kian Byrne (with Narges Bajoghli)

Worlds Apart: A Documentary History of US-Iranian Relations, 1978-2018

October 18: Michael Reynolds and Alp Yenen (with Onur Isci and Samuel J. Hirst)

Rogues and Revolutionaries: Young Turks and the Global Order after WWI

November 16: Ozlem Altan-Olcay and Evren Balta (with Amanda Frost)

The American Passport in Turkey: National Citizenship in the Age of Transnationalism

December 14: Hanna Notte and Chen Kane

The ACRS Oral History Project: An Exploration into the Arms Control and Regional Security Working Group

Spring 2021

February 11: Onur Isci (with Suzy Hansen and James Ryan)

Diplomacy, Discord, and Turkish Politics since World War II

March 4: Mahsa Rouhi and Hassan Elbahtimy (with Or Rabinowitz and Eliza Gheorghe)

From Egypt to Iran: The History of Nuclear Politics in the Middle East

April 5: Lorenz Luthi (with Guy Laron, Alexander Shelby, and Eliza Gheorghe)

The Cold War in the Middle East or the Middle East in the Cold War?

May 6: Timothy Nunan and Katelyn Tietzen (with Barin Kayaoglu and Samuel J. Hirst)

The Post-Cold War Middle East: Iran, Iraq and International Politics in the 1980s

June 3: Joseph Sassoon and Asher Orkaby (with Michael Brill)

Challenging the Norms of Warfare: Historical Perspectives from Yemen and Iraq